Residents of Florida are bunkering down or evacuating as Hurricane Irma sweeps in from the Atlantic Ocean with power the state hasn't seen in more than a decade.
The storm has sustained category five status since becoming one in the Atlantic Ocean, and when it makes landfall in the southern parts of Florida this weekend, it's expected to weaken to a category four hurricane. Nevertheless, that's no reason for Florida residents to let their guard down.
At category five, a hurricane produces winds ranging from 131-155 miles per hour and comes with an increased tornado risk. As we've seen from the damage in places like Barbuda, the hurricane can level buildings and cause considerable damage to communities. Already, seven people have lost their lives to the storm, and the death toll will only continue to rise.
The storm is expected to make landfall as soon as Saturday; however, projections have been all over the place all week long and could change. The critical factors meteorologists are monitoring right now are the storm's rate of speed and where it will make the 90º turn to the North.